Senator Kemp Hannon announced the New York State Senate has passed legislation (S.6409) to mandate lifetime registration for the most dangerous sex offenders and prevent sex offenders from coming off the registry. The bill was sent to the Assembly and signed into law by Governor George Pataki, following agreement last week by the joint legislative conference committee on the Sex Offender Registry created by Megan's Law.
"Our tough new registration law ensures that the most dangerous sex offenders never escape the Sex Offender Registry and establishes a model for the rest of the nation to follow," Hannon said. "It also demonstrates the effectiveness of the public conference committee process. Hopefully, we will build upon this success by convening conference committees for civil commitment legislation, mandatory community notification, email notification and other import measures needed to protect children and families from sexual predators."
The legislation mandates lifetime registration for Level 2 and Level 3 offenders. Level 2 offenders will be allowed to petition for removal from the registry after a minimum of 30 years. Level 1 offenders will be required to register for 20 years, and will automatically drop off the registry after 20 years.
Under current law, most sex offenders are only required to register for 10 years. On Jan. 21, 2006, the 10th anniversary of the effective date of New York State's sex offender registry, 168 sex offenders were scheduled to be dropped from the registry because they would have met the 10-year mandate to keep police posted of their whereabouts. Hundreds more were scheduled to drop off the sex offender registry each month thereafter, totaling over 3,500 offenders by the end of 2006.